British backpacker wins Australian “backpacker tax” proceedings

Backpackers from eight countries can save thousands of dollars after the Australian High Court ruled on Wednesday that government taxes on those taking work leave from these countries were unfair.

In December 2016, Australia enacted a backpacker tax. This will impose a 15% flat rate tax on working vacationers up to A $ 37,000, which is a higher tax of A $ 5,550 than Aboriginal Australians.

Local Australians are exempt from tax on incomes up to AU $ 18,200, and if they earn up to AU $ 37,000 per year, the tax is only AU $ 3,572.

British backpacker Catherine Adi, who works as a waitress in Sydney, has filed a federal court against backpacker tax for discriminating her nationality and violating the Australian-British treaty on avoiding double taxation. I filed a lawsuit.

Adi initially won her case in October 2019. However, the federal court overturned the ruling in August 2020. She then appealed to the High Court of Australia. She was charged with “more troublesome” taxes.

“Comparing Mr. Adi’s position with that of the Australian people, of course, that’s the only conclusion,” they said. judgement..

Epoch Times Photo
Australian backpackers from eight countries can save thousands of dollars. (Shutterstock *)

“She did the same kind of work and earned the same amount of income from the same source of income, but the Australians … had to pay less taxes.”

The Australian Taxation Authority (ATO) later issued a statement stating that the High Court’s decision does not apply to all backpackers in the country.

“This decision is only relevant if the working vacationer is a tax resident of Australia and is a resident of Chile, Finland, Japan, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany or Israel,” the ATO said. statement..

The ATO is considering this decision and said it will provide further guidance in a timely manner.

Joanna Murphy, CEO of, who helped Addy file a proceeding, welcomed the court’s decision to “confirm important protection for foreigners who choose to work on vacation in Australia.” ..

“When this tax was introduced in 2016, it was always clear that it violated many international tax agreements, contrary to the intentions of the agricultural sector,” Murphy said. statement On the company website.

“It also undermined Australia’s reputation as a Working Holiday destination.”

Epoch Times Sydney Staff